A view of Stone Town from one of Zanzibar's famous dhows.
Tanzania’s Spice Island
Zanzibar is where the Arab world meets sub-Saharan Africa and the result is both intriguing and alluring! An historic trade stop once overflowing with treasures of silk and gold, today the island overflows with an abundance of spices. It is part of the union called Tanzania, but frequently operates with autonomy. Formally known as Ungunja and Pemba, Zanzibar is a historic gem that will brighten any trip to the East Coast of Africa. The surrounding Indian Ocean is a scuba diver's dream and the island’s colorful past is a delightful discovery for history lovers. And for those seeking a little romance, candle lit dinners on the beach and dancing under the stars are only the beginning.
Legacy of a Sultan
Zanzibar was once the headquarters to the Sultan of Oman, who had a lasting impact on the economy, agriculture, architecture and culture of this island. Stoic forts and palace ruins are evidence of the islands rich history. Legend has it that the princesses of the Omani Sultanate slept which their jewelry on and jewelry shops boast ornate patterned pieces of silver and stones whose designs have been prized for generations.
The island's historic center city, Stone Town, is a memorable maze of narrow, winding cobble stone streets whose whitewashed walls are dotted with ornately carved wooden doors, an architectural signature in Stone Town. The city is an excellent home base from which to stroll along the island’s white sand beaches, go on scuba diving excursions, explore the forests and spice farms, and learn about its diverse history.
The Perfect Way to End a Safari
Whether you are on the main island or have taken a dhow to one of the smaller surrounding islands, you will find beautiful beaches, warm hospitality and a wide variety of activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, forest walks and historical tours.
Enjoying a more relaxed pace than mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar is full of friendly, easy-going people. Though you will find it along much of Africa’s eastern coast, Zanzibar is truly the home of Swahili culture. One myth even tells how everyone on the island is a descendant of the Sultan who had 100 wives.